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by Abigail Van Buren

Outdated Mailing Lists Add Insult to Injury of Son's Loss

DEAR ABBY: I need to vent my frustration over two ludicrous and painful incidents that have occurred since my 21-year-old son, "John," passed away from cancer in 1994.

The oncology doctor who treated John and signed his death certificate moved to a new office in 1996. His staff then sent a "new address" notice -- addressed to our son.

I can top that. This week, we received a "relocation" notice from the mortuary that handled John's funeral. This, too, was addressed to John!

I can handle the music and video club mailings addressed to my son, even though I've written them numerous times informing them of John's death, but I never felt I needed to ask an oncology doctor or mortuary to remove my son's name from their list.

Don't mailing lists ever get updated or destroyed? -- JOHN'S MOTHER IN ALBUQUERQUE

DEAR MOM: You have my sympathy for your painful predicament. Although we know that no one lives forever -- immortality may indeed exist on hard-drives and computer discs.

Although mailing lists should be updated yearly, it's a task that often gets put on the back burner because of work overload. If you receive any more of these mailings, just toss them.